Friday, November 17, 2006

Ten DAYS later

Okay I needed to get over it and I think I am...finally. I won't list all the petty little things that are broken, malfunctioning, or just plain problematic, over the last week or so, actually they still ARE, but it's time to let it go. The weather here has conspired to put me into a good mood, the scale has groaned to let me know it's time to take charge of my hand-to-mouth hyperactivity, and reading JCO's Will You Still Love Me has inspired me to get back to work.

I don't know where or why these funks penetrate my psyche but they do and the whole time I'm experiencing them one little high-pitched voice in my ear is yelling, "Stop, you idiot! Stop acting like a suicide-bomber!" while another voice, lower, less shrill, decidedly more seductive whispers, "It's okay, baby. Just let it happen. Whip up those pancakes. Take that nap. Who cares? No one cares unless it interferes with their agendas. You're on your own. Do whatever the hell you want."

Oh, that's scary. Maybe I shouldn't publish this. Kind of private. But I will because I want to continue going for the deep bone-scraping truth in my writing. Plus no one but my sister really reads this.

So I'm on the upswing for a while and since I recognize it as such, I must take advantage of it. I'm working on a schedule today, writing by the clock to insure I get things accomplished. I have been daunted by the task of the book. It's so unwieldy, those 379 pages slip-sliding out of my hands as I carry it around the house--to the living room to read through and make notes, five minutes later to the dining room table to lay it out and stand over it, still with the phone ringing, out to the garage where it's more private, then back upstairs to the computer with the internet, am I certain the bikini testing had happened yet?

So it goes. Today I'm staying in the garage, leaving for nothing short of an earthquake until I feel I'm am pulling up the glued edge at the corner of this story, have the task loosened up and can get a hold of it to rip.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

And of course there is depression...

I won't dwell on this, but I do want it on the record. The post-partum of Landmarked has settled in. While I'm pleased I managed to write another story last week all the way to the end, I am disappointed that I didn't use my time better and that what I ended up sending to the Writers Digest Pop Fiction contest won't be really considered. Strong opening, but it's very hard for me to write anything under 4000 words...even when I plan to write 4000 words. I made it: 3987, but the ending is so abrupt and so without finesse that it would be an embarrassment if I thought it was complete and done. My apologies to the judges at the WD.

However, if I remind myself of my original intent, I feel better. The intent was to write the story to the end and see what happens. And I did do that. I now know the ending. I know who the conflict comes from in the end. It just needs fleshing out and being this far now is a GOOD thing. Getting to an end, any end is really an accomplishment for me, because I am always putting it off. I love to spend time with the first part, the set-up, the build, but never seem to get to the end. A friend often tells me it's the process I love, not the product.

Am I afraid of endings? I guess so. I mean, I force myself to write stories the first time through to the end, always doing exactly what I did with this short story. But then I put off finishing. I suppose it is the fear of not pulling it off that does it. And yet, why shouldn't I pull it off? Most writers ultimately do, don't they? Why do I think I can't? I don't have the answer to that question. After over twenty years of being serious, and five years of being dead serious, one would think...

So I go through my day plagued by this draining feeling. Let down. Slowed down. Dreading. The solution? There are only two: writing and napping. Three if you count eating till it hurts. But since it's only 7:00 AM, napping seems just a bit ridiculous. So I'm heading out to work. To listen to my "Believe" tape (heavy on American Idol songs and Bob Marley) and get the lead out. Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Returning from the nether regions, my daughter comes home today. As a matter of fact, I'm just waiting for my hair to dry in the velcro rollers so I can take off. I'm very excited. Which is somewhat surprizing to me since she's twenty-three and has lived away, first Davis, then up on the mountain, for the last five years. But there's something about being half a world away that makes it harder. If she gets in trouble in Cali, I can jump in the car and rescue her. Not so easy when she's so far away. But she seems to have survived jumping out of an airplane with what she calls "a hottie," scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and fulfilling the "Thrillogy," which means she's bungie-jumped THREE times, once from the highest bungie-jumping place in the world!!!! Arghhhhhh!

So I'm in a great mood having survived knowing all this has been happening. Additionally, I managed to complete another short story and shipped it off to the Writers' Digest Pop Fiction contest at exactly 11:52 New York time to meet the 12:00 midnight deadline. The last three hundred words are breathless. It ends abruptly and I'll probably have to fix that to submit elsewhere later, but I did it and I'm relieved. I think I've been worried that I couldn't really do it least so quickly in less than a month of mulling, and less than a week actually writing. I guess I've been thinking that "Leaving Slackerland" just might be all I have in me to complete, but this proves I can do it. Not that I'm saying it's good. It takes a lot for me to say those words, but it has a story, I love the main character, so flawed but so dear, and I think it's got the bones to work. Whether it works now, I can't judge because it's too soon after the "birth."

Well, I've got an airplane to meet so that's all for today. Oh, and I do love the title of the new baby: "As-Is."